Orthodoxy in America consists of several jurisdictions: Greek, Russian, (OCA) Orthodox Church in America, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Antiochian (Syrian). Of the various jurisdictions the Antiochian Orthodox have been the most open to evangelizing America.
The Antiochian Archdiocese traces its roots to the Book of Acts. In Acts 11:26 we read that “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” In Acts 13:1-3, we learn that the Apostle Paul received his missionary calling during the Liturgy in the Church of Antioch. The current Patriarch of Antioch, John X, is the 171st successor to the Patriarchate of Antioch. The missionary zeal which led the Apostle Paul to traverse the Roman Empire continues on today.
In 1987, the Antiochian Archdiocese welcomed some two thousand Evangelicals into the Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Philip at the service welcoming the new converts gave what can be considered a call to evangelism:
We thank God that those faithful people have found the true Faith which once and for all was delivered to the saints. This Faith which remains the best kept secret in America because of our laziness (the Orthodox). Because we have been busy taking care of our little ethnic ghettos.
It is time we let this light shine. America needs the Orthodox Faith. I said to the Evangelical Orthodox this past Sunday, I said: “Welcome home!” Today I say to America: “Come home America! Come home to the Faith of Peter and Paul.”
[Source: “Evangelicals Come Home to Orthodoxy” from 20:00 > 21:25]
To contact the Dept. of Missions and Evangelism click here.